Maine, an Alabama grandson who puts all other grandsons to shame, chose as his date to the Eufaula High School prom: Grandma.
“I just thought, well, itâ€™s just so nice that he wanted me to go,â€ CatherineÂ toldÂ WTVM. â€œI kept asking him, â€˜Donâ€™t you want to take someone else?â€™ But he kept saying, â€˜No, I want my Nanny.â€™ So I was just so shocked, privileged that he asked me.â€Â .
â€œMy grandma is the most important woman in my life and sheâ€™s never had a prom before so I figured why not let her go with me,â€ BryceÂ toldÂ â€œInside Edition.â€
…Catherine, 69, prepared for the April 8 event by purchasing a new dress to wear on the special night, as word of her coming attendance trickled out into the small community. Somehow, the schoolâ€™s administrators got wind of Bryceâ€™s plans â€” and thatâ€™s when they fell apart.
Turns out the school has an age limit on prom goers, 20, which grandma exceeded by a few decades.
So the school said nix, no, no way, etc. etc. But here’s why. Can you guess? Come on — of course you can. It’s the blanket wet enough to dampen any fun anywhere, ever: The safety of our precious students! As Eufaula City Schools principal Steve Hawkins said:
â€œSafety of students and staff is the first and most important of the many tasks of a school administrator. For the 10 years I have been high school principal, we have denied requests each year from students asking to bring older dates to prom. We do not chance leaving any stone unturned when it comes to safety. Most high schools have an age limit for prom attendees.â€…
BryceÂ toldÂ WTVM the reason the school gave him was â€œalcohol â€¦ in case, you know, she was trying to distribute it to minors.â€
Yeah, that is so extremely likely. Granny’s going to be the one sneaking in alcohol, not one of those 18-year-old whippersnappers. Why, they’re under age!
So for “safety’s sake” the principal is teaching students the important life lesson that love, kindness, flexibilty and family all pale compared to the regal rigidity of a bureaucrat.
Meantime, al.com news reports that grandson and grandma are going to get dressed up and go out for a night on the town anyway, most likely at a local country club that understands decency (and, okay, publicity) and has invited them the night of the prom. And dreamboat grandson Bryce added:
“I picked out some of the songs she liked from back in the day – a lot of Elvis.”
And maybe he’ll play one for the principal: “Don’t Be Cruel.” – L.
What a lovely kid! Though Grandma does look a tad shifty, and better safe than sorry. ..
Sarc mutterings :-/
If you break the rule for Grams, next year little Susie is going to want to invite Snake, her 31 year old date from the wrong side the tracks.
Personally, I think that Principal Hawkins made a calmly reasoned decision that reflects the prevailing sensibilities of modern American society.
‘We do not chance leaving any stone unturned when it comes to safety.’
What about the rocks in your head?
‘Bryce told WTVM the reason the school gave him was â€œalcohol â€¦ in case, you know, she was trying to distribute it to minors.â€’
Good God, the logic of school administrators is beyond me.
If someone over 20 is a risk for supplying alcohol to minors, then that includes the over-20s who are the teachers in the school every day. Doesn’t it? I’ll bet it’s happened more times than grandmothers have brought liquor to proms.
When you are over the age, fear is all the rage
I hope that principal never hears the end of it. And that a lot of Bryce’s classmates decide that a big bowling party is a better way spend their night than prom.
Actually, the kids must be jumping for joy. If no one over the age of 20 is allowed in, obviously that includes teachers, administrators or other chaperones, right? Par-tee!!!
I mean, I think it’s totally fine to say prom is not for grandmas, and not let her come. I think it’s totally fine to have age limits and not make exceptions, even heart-warming ones. But why can’t they just say, “Sorry, no prom guests over age 20” without pretending that Grandma is a booze-smuggling threat to the safety of a bunch of adults and near-adults.
“If someone over 20 is a risk for supplying alcohol to minors, then that includes the over-20s who are the teachers in the school every day. Doesnâ€™t it? Iâ€™ll bet itâ€™s happened more times than grandmothers have brought liquor to proms.”
Great statement BL.
The high school that I attended (early 80’s) hired a security guard to prevent drugs from being sold on campus. A while later the State Police ran an undercover operation to catch the person selling drugs on campus. They caught the security guard.
What a sweet grandson!!
If I were the principal, I’d just have “officially” asked her to be a chaperone. CORI form filled out, problem solved.
I hope the place they’re going instead really does things up right!
Who’s more dangerous: a teacher like Tad Cummins who is currently on the lamb with a student doing gawd-knows-what, or Grandma? The list of teachers who’ve done bad things with students would stretch for miles. The list of grannies wanting to mess up their grandson’s prom is blank.
See, when I saw the quote “we do not chance leaving any stone unturned when it comes to student safety” my inner adult screamed “Do you have school busses? Do you let children ride in cars? Do you not let the use scissors?”
I am calmly awaiting the day when my sons’ school does something equally inane. Well, they did, I called them on it, and they replied back as you may expect from people who don’t bother to use the 3.5 lbs of grey matter located between their ears.
Win some, lose some.
“The list of teachers whoâ€™ve done bad things with students would stretch for miles.”
Uh, no, such incidents are as rare as any other incidents of adults who have access to children doing bad things to them. In fact, far more rare than incidents involving parents, step-parents and other family members. Sure, any profession that has access to children is going to attract a certain – very small – percentage of child predators, and no such profession is going to be entirely free of such incidents, but education has long had many means of weeding out such people.
It’s just that, as with many of the “incidents” Lenore publishes, we simply hear about nearly everything that happens, making it seem ubiquitous.
“Uh, no, such incidents are as rare as any other incidents of adults who have access to children doing bad things to them. In fact, far more rare than incidents involving parents, step-parents and other family members. Sure, any profession that has access to children is going to attract a certain â€“ very small â€“ percentage of child predators, and no such profession is going to be entirely free of such incidents, but education has long had many means of weeding out such people.”
The point stands that, if any adult could provide alcohol and weed to minors, that applies to teachers as well. In fact, my teen could point to which teachers are known for overindulging on the weekends. It makes sense not to allow twentysomethings as prom dates, but the problem here is the zero tolerance and refusal to think outside the box to teach kids a positive, rather than negative, lesson. As someone else said, make her an official chaperone and conduct the standard background check if necessary, but don’t require her to actually chaperone and let her attend the prom as his date.
“The point stands that, if any adult could provide alcohol and weed to minors, that applies to teachers as well.”
Agreed. See my first post – if Grandma can’t come because she’s too old, no one over the age of 20 should be allowed in.
I was responding, however, to Steve’s implication that teachers are willy-nilly doing bad things to students in droves. That’s part of the fear-driven narrative of people with an agenda. In this case, it is used specifically to remove job protections from teachers on the alleged (and very false) grounds that teachers who have worked long enough to earn due process (otherwise (and incorrectly) known as “tenure”) “can’t be fired” even when they do bad things to students. The agenda is to trash the teaching profession in order to make teachers into low-paid, on demand, wage slaves like the powers that be have done to many of the rest of us.
High school proms these days are mostly a bust. The schools seem to think that prom is when everyone is going to ‘make their move’ to the degree where there were students being called into the security office at my HS before prom so they could be quizzed about their classmates’ odd behavior – entirely based on rumors from other students. One was suspected of having a stockpile of rifles (impressive in NYC), and another of thinking of blowing up the venue. It barely merits saying that nothing whatsoever happened, except that I decided to leave early and was told by the monitor that people aren’t allowed back in after leaving which was fine by me. I was more interested in going to bed and/or getting some homework done.
Proms may have once been a way to help students celebrate adulthood by giving them a high class event similar to a wedding reception or a business get-together. Now it’s just the pinnacle of safety conscious field trip culture.
Monty Python was onto this threat years ago when they “uncovered” Hell’s Grannies!
“If you break the rule for Grams, next year little Susie is going to want to invite Snake, her 31 year old date from the wrong side the tracks.”
So what? Let her bring him. Assuming the Prom is heavily chaperoned, what kind of damage can Snake cause? Certainly not anymore than a juvenile delinquent from another school district could. So who is to say that a person 20 or < isn't "from the wrong side of the tracks either"? They're assuming that the older the person is the more nefarious they are which in most cases is the opposite. I think that's age discrimination.
“The point stands that, if any adult could provide alcohol and weed to minors, that applies to teachers as well.”
Which is why teachers are subject to laws that other people aren’t. For example, everybody here is familiar with statutory rape laws (if one of the people having sex is underage, it’s rape regardless of any contrary indications of consent.) Teachers are subject to similar restraints even if their student has reached the local age of consent.
Similarly, while it is a crime for any adult to give alcohol to any minor (some exclusions apply) (an offense generally referred to as “furnishing” but with lots of variations in the exact wording of the statute), it is another, separate offense for a teacher to give alcohol to a student (some variation of “official misconduct”). Since one of the side effects of a conviction for official misconduct is revocation of a teaching license, and thus, almost any teaching job, you really don’t find a lot of teachers giving alcohol to minors
Parent chaperones and older siblings are a whole other story.
What the problem really is that the people in charge want to ogle the girls and don’t want to be called on it. Ogle a bunch of teens you’re okay these girls are slits. But ogle an adult you’re a pig. That the real story because how many proms have you heard with alcohol.
“They’re assuming that the older the person is the more nefarious they are which in most cases is the opposite. I think that’s age discrimination.”
They’re assuming that people who are 21 can buy alcohol legally (and therefore, easily), which IS age discrimination.
I live in one of the states that has legal marijuana for people who are 21, as well.
A “minors only” policy probably exists only so the chaperones have a simple rule to enforce… everyone’s a minor, so anyone drinking is doing so illegally. Having to card people caught drinking puts on a layer of complexity, and the likely response to that is to ignore drinking by anyone… yeah, I saw that person drinking, but they might be doing so legally, so I’ll leave it be. It doesn’t come up much because the list of people over 21 who want to go to a H.S. prom is very short.
Here, prevention of drinking-and-driving is the major focus of prom run-up. They do the thing where they bring in a totalled car and leave it out in front of the school for a couple of weeks prior to prom, and they run in-school anti-drinking-and-driving programs. The school is also officially anti-sex and anti-drinking-in-general, but they don’t push those. But they’re all-in on anti-drinking-and-driving. (How do I know? My kid is just four years removed from H.S.)
“What the problem really is that the people in charge want to ogle the girls and donâ€™t want to be called on it.”
Oh, come now! Really? For those who are indeed intent on ogling girls (a very small minority, I’d guess), do you really think Grandma’s presence with her grandson is going to change that? And what about the presence of the other chaperones?
Contrary to what’s beginning to seem like popular belief around here, the vast majority of people who go into education don’t do so for cheap thrills and feels. The job is far too hard.
Stupid reigns in the USA. Doesn’t it make you feel like you live in a great country???
If you saw someone ogling your family would you stand around and let them do it without a word?
“If you saw someone ogling your family would you stand around and let them do it without a word?”
Um, you said that the people in charge wanted to ogle the *girls*. Her grandson is, presumably, a boy. Anyway, aren’t there other parent chaperones there? Mightn’t the people in charge be ogling *their* family members?
I agree with Lenore that this was a stupid decision, but you’re being extreme by suggesting it has anything to do with the people in charge wanting to ogle girls (or boys). As others have commented, the issue is alcohol, which is why the cut-off age is below the legal age of drinking.
I love that the country club invited them! Just goes to show you that not everyone is negative. I hope Grandson and Grandma have a wonderful evening!
A no alcohol or get kick out rule if you’re caught drinking would be easier. Two they want to ogle the pretty teens under their power can’t ogle grandma. Very little power there even if they wanted to ogle her.
My biggest beef right now, “Safety” is so over used, and wrongfully as well, that it holds as much meaning to me (in these context) as people saying “sorry” when they walk into you. Because they were too busy looking at their phones. Then just continue to keep walking, bumping into another person. Safety is just a word to these people. They don’t actually mean it. What they do mean is, “covering our asses”. They should just say that.
“People may complain, and the school can get into trouble. So for the school’s sake, we don’t want to stir up any issues.” Done. Because that’s what it’s really all about. The school (board) doesn’t want to get hit with any lawsuits. It’s not about “safety” for the kids. Or very little to do with it.
Theresa – I can only presume you must have had some abusive experiences in your formative years that lead you to assume that people who have dedicated their lives to educating kids are more worried about ogling girls than simply covering their butts. I’m sorry about.
“Two they want to ogle the pretty teens under their power canâ€™t ogle grandma.”
At the risk of sounding like someone who’s given this a lot of thought, there ware both way easier and way better ways to go about ogling young girls. Lifeguarding at the pool comes to mind. Or just run a pageant. Heck, if this place is anything like the school I went to, just walk down the halls during May and June, because ladies what gots it going on don’t mind letting people know. (And, for that matter, the dudes what are all that don’t mind showing off, either.)
And how, exactly, does having grandma at the dance stop this ogling?
BL wrote April 5, 2017 at 4:24 am:
By the authority conferred to me by nobody at all, I declare BL the winner of this comment thread.
Fundamentally, I see two sides to the issue.
One one side, there’s “rules are rules. If the rules produce stupid results, change the rules or live with stupid results” This rule exists, so it must be enforced as written until it is changed.
The other side says “rules are rules, but when the rules are inconvenient, they should just be put aside or applied intermittently.” This rule exists, but we should pretend it doesn’t because we don’t want it to apply in this case.
OK, there’s also a chorus of “this is a stupid rule that shouldn’t exist in the first place!” But that doesn’t lead anyplace. The rule DOES exist.
” â€œThe point stands that, if any adult could provide alcohol and weed to minors, that applies to teachers as well.â€
Agreed. See my first post â€“ if Grandma canâ€™t come because sheâ€™s too old, no one over the age of 20 should be allowed in.”
But they have to let teachers in. Somebody has to chaperone, or it’s not a school sponsored event — it’s a teenage free-for-all.
So I was trying to make the point that the teachers are more of a menace to the students than Granny. Sure it’s rare for a teacher to do something bad, but a lot of rare instances make for a long list. (Plus I was just trying to make a point and use a little bit of literary license. Sheesh.) And I understand that lots of parents and grandparents do bad things, but I would bet that its not the ones whose kids/grandkids want them to come to prom.
My daughter is 16, a high school sophomore, and quite pretty. I’m not worried about her at school, even though a male teacher at her school was fired last year for inappropriate conduct with a female student.
Sure it much easier to ogle at the pool but there the easy way and stupid way and despite being adults they can be pretty foolish at times. But that the very reason they can be foolish because they’re adults and nobody wants to think of adults in power doing stupid stuff.
â€ â€œThe point stands that, if any adult could provide alcohol and weed to minors, that applies to teachers as well.â€
So could non-adults. Sure, they’d have to acquire it illegally (underage), but that happens all the time.
Maybe it’s the other kids who don’t want grams to be there.
They can’t ogle each other if grams is walking around the place, or something.
Show someone special how much your care with this lovely grandmother necklace .
That is so ridiculous!
Four years ago, my daughter asked her dad to accompany her to the prom. They attended with her friend who also had her dad as her dates. Both girls are autistic, and attending would have been very difficult if our school administration had valued the letter of the law (or age limit) over the spirit. My daughter’s friend and her dad left the prom right after dinner when she’d had as much as she could take, and my husband had the pleasure of watching our daughter have a wonderful time until she was done at 10:30.
I was going to say I bet Grandma would have been allowed to be a chaperone – but then I realized they would have demanded fingerprints and an extensive background check…
I heard about this a few days ago, and still find it to be so stupid. I must have missed all stories about rogue granny’s getting teens drunk in school.
Why not just list her under chaperones, and be done with it? That or welcome her and get a good puff piece out of it. I’ve seen several stories about sons inviting their moms or grandmothers to the prom because they missed theirs, or were terminal 🙁
In related news: Parents seem to be excessively losing their mind over drinking. One of my co workers, who is having an incredibly hard time letting her teens grow up, recently marched to the high school with other crazy moms in need of medication, and physically threatened the chorus teacher. Last year 2 got in trouble for drinking on their Disney trip, and one pair of teen lovers were caught getting it on. The same exact thing happened on my Disney trip in the early 90s. Were talking about teenagers in hotel rooms with mini bars. They broke the lock, drank it dry and we’re sent home with a large bill. Apparently this is supposed to be unheard of now. Parents were livid last year, the teacher was jumped by parents when they returned, and she was told that parents would be flying to Disney and stomping her ass if one “child” was caught drinking this year. The funny thing is, none of these demanding parents are willing to chaperone. They will go on trips after making it clear that they will only watch and protect their baby, because their is too much stress involved with being responsible for others wild spawn, but they expect the 3 people willing to do it to keep up with 150 16-18 year olds, without incident. The day before they departed she was elated because police had been asked to search the students bags before they left in the morning, and the teacher had no idea it was coming!! She had this smug… serves the bitch right! she let children drink and had the nerve to let 16-18 year olds walk around Disney World on their own last year.
Hysterical mothers are evil incarnate
I was wondering about the background check but so many states and districts have different rules. Some only go all out for overnight field trips.
I know this somewhat off topic but sadly if you free rangers want kids to go biking to school. It still not allowed so we have try again to knock sense into the government’s head. Maybe next time we’ll win.
My high school Spanish teacher kept a bottle of whiskey in his desk drawer at all times. We never took it, because even high school kids have standards, and it was nasty rot-gut stuff.
On the plus side, open textbook tests for everyone! We all got straight A’s that year.
James Pollock, it doesn’t matter what age the people are, most schools have signs on the doors saying “No Alcohol, Drugs, Tobacco or Firearms.” (My district will also not allow dogs, horses or golfing on school grounds.) Even if the person is over 21, it is still against the rules to have alcohol on school grounds. Granny, or anyone else over 21, would fall under this rule.
“James Pollock, it doesnâ€™t matter what age the people are, most schools have signs on the doors saying â€œNo Alcohol, Drugs, Tobacco or Firearms.â€”
The Hotel ballroom doesn’t, though.
Hah. For a moment I was confused, because aren’t those kids 18 anyway, and then I remembered, oh, right. 21.
I was going to make a witch joke, but if those kids are indeed 18, why would she turn them into mice…?
“Hah. For a moment I was confused, because arenâ€™t those kids 18 anyway”
The answer to this question is “no”. In the U.S., around 2/3 of high-school seniors are 18 at the time of prom, but around 1/3 are 17*. However, dates to prom can be even younger because seniors can ask younger students. Sometimes they’re older, but more rarely.
* this has to do with when their birthdays are. People with birthdays in June, July, August, and September will, for the most part, be 17 at prom time. There are a few people with birthdays in October or November who are 17 at prom time, too, and a small number of people who are younger than 17 or older than 18 when prom time comes in their senior year, for reasons other than when their birthday is. People who have birthdays in July or August will start first grade at 6 but won’t have had their 18th birthday yet at prom. People who have birthdays in September start school at 5, then turn six just after school starts. Some people with October and November birthdays will start school at 5, and some will wait until they turn six, depending on whether or not they’re ready in September.
This does, in fact, means that some H.S. students are legally adults for purposes other than possessing intoxicants… they can legally possess pornographic materials, for example, or nicotine products. School rules generally apply to them when they are at school, and do not apply when they leave the premises. All kinds of legal gray areas abound when they are off school grounds, but are participating in a school-sponsored event. Cases involve students who are 18 going to strip clubs or casinos when traveling as part of their school’s sports teams or other extracurriculars.
There. Now you know WAY more about how the schools work in a completely different country from your own than you ever wanted..